In Canada a (large-L) Liberal is pretty middle of the road, being outflanked on the left by the New Democratic Party and beyond them the socialist fringe. Here small-l liberal is a word meaning "generous". (Lately as there's a big scandal with missing grant money, big-L Liberal means generous too!)

We occassionally elect the New Democratic Party, usually by accident. The world does not end. Later we elect the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada who undo everything that happened.

And since it's winter here almost everyone wears leg warmers, and as for the heart rupturing, we say "remember to take a break when shovelling out the driveway!"

There are no extreme left wingers in mainstream American politics; this "spectre haunting all that's good and right about America" is just that: a spectre, a myth on par with that of the "liberal media". I'm hard-pressed to find anything left-wing happening; the House Progressive Caucus is a mere sliver of the organizational pie chart, and they're only slightly left-of-center, on average, on a good day. The center of gravity for American politics has been right-of-center for decades, so even a radical moderate can look like a "leg-warmer-wearing rupturing heart liberal", I suppose.

A genuine leftist would scare the fuck out of some people. But you won't find any under this "leg-warmer" rubric. I myself wear long underwear.

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